Friday, May 16, 2008

Cross-Channel Integration

Image:Bonjour Browser.pngIf you - as a company - want to create a truly positive customer experience, there will be no way around the integration of all the different contact channels.
This was already a hot topic in the CRM 1.0 days (and still is) and led to terms like the "360 degree view on a customer". But having all the information available at the agents fingertips is not everything needed to create an experience.
In addition to the collection of data and making it available in the front office, the analytical side of CRM needs to take all this data into consideration as well when it comes to real time offering suggestions or campaign management. Additionally the customer wants to get the same experience independent on the channel he is using. There should be no difference between an email, a letter or a phone call to a business.
I am one of the typical "1st try an email..." type of guys. And guess what, I am getting really upset when it takes 3 weeks to answer my email but the agent on the phone can resolve the issue within 10 secs. Does it also take three weeks to answer a mail - or are they considered more important?

It looks like the processes in a CRM 2.0 environment need to change dramatically from the current ones, that seem to have strong preferences on certain channels (while ignoring some others completely).

The following questions need to be considered in a CRM 2.0 implementation:
  • What channels do I need to serve?
  • What are the costs involved (opening new channels will disburden others)?
  • How can I make sure the experience is the same across channels?
  • What channels do my customers prefer (each customer individual)?

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